Limb Amputation from a Car Accident? Now What?


Serious car accidents are, by their very nature, traumatic and life-changing. Recovering from injuries received during a car crash can take a long time and is quite challenging for the whole family. Loss of limb is the type of injury  that permanently changes lives, and requires the victim as well as his or her family to adapt to a new way of life and learn new skills. While you may still be able to do many of the things you did before the accident, a limb loss will force you to live life differently and within certain limitations.

Depending on your injuries, you may also find you are unable to work, do many household chores, and other normal activities that you once did with ease. Adapting is often difficult and much of the physical therapy and other treatment needed to adjust is costly and time-consuming.

If somebody else caused your limb loss, you will probably be eligible for compensation to help you live your life to the fullest. This is why it’s so important to find a competent personal injury lawyer who will put your needs first as quickly as possible following an accident.

Compensation for Loss of Limb

If you were in a car crash and lost your arm or leg, Minnesota has specific laws that can help you get on with your life, depending on the circumstances. You usually will have the right to have your medical bills paid and your wage loss reimbursed.

In Minnesota, most compensation comes from no-fault insurance coverage on your own vehicle. However, when your expenses are large and you’ve lost the ability to do things, you usually the right to make a claim against the driver –of a car, bus, truck or van–who caused the accident. A loss of limb is a significant injury that can cause additional expenses. This usually means that your attorney will work to help you recover damages and get compensation for pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement and emotional distress. If you are a primary breadwinner or provide caretaking duties in your household, a good attorney will also help you get monetary compensation for loss of earning capacity and other losses that may have occurred.

Usually, your attorney will work to help you recoup expenses from hospital bills, a prosthesis, and all future treatment. This can include future artificial limbs that you will need throughout your life.

What Does My No-Fault Insurance Cover?

If you’ve obeyed state laws for insurance requirements, your car insurance coverage will help pay your medical bills. In fact, Minnesota law requires vehicles to provide insurance for up to $40,000 per person, per accident. However, there is a cap at $20,000 in personal injuries, with the rest of the money going towards losses such as income or employment.

Your no-fault insurance does not cover damages to vehicles or other property.

What If My Limb Amputation Costs More?

Often, there are a number of factors that contribute to a car crash that causes a limb amputation. Minnesota’s no-fault car crash laws can help cover expenses even if you were partially to blame.

In Minnesota, you’re allowed to go outside the no-fault system and file a liability claim against another driver if you incur at least $4,000 in reasonable medical expenses or suffered at least 60 days of disability, permanent injury, or suffer from permanent disfigurement. When you lose a limb, this counts as both an injury and disfigurement, which can easily result in disability. An attorney can help account for all of these difficulties and fight for the best compensation to fit your ongoing needs.

Your liability claim against another driver can only be for amounts not covered by your insurance.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to also remember that vehicle damage claims don’t fall under Minnesota’s no-fault system. If a car or truck was totaled due to another driver’s fault or negligence, you’re free to have your attorney file a third-party liability claim or a lawsuit against the driver. This is in addition to any other incurred expenses or pain and suffering.

What’s the Best Way to Get Started Protecting My Rights?

Recovery from a limb amputation from a car accident can be a long road, and it’s important to take the time to focus on it. While you may not yet be ready to file a lawsuit, it’s important to note that Minnesota, sets a limit on the amount of time you have to go to civil court and file a lawsuit after an injury occurs. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury.

Finding a good attorney to help you navigate the court system is important. You’ll want to document every expense incurred from your accident, including lost wages. Receipts from hospital bills, medical equipment, hired help to perform your duties and other expenses should be kept in a folder to give your attorney. He or she can then go through the expenses with you and let you know which you can expect to be covered.

It’s not easy to recover from a limb amputation. Having somebody who is fighting for your future and seeking relief for your burdens is a good first step to rebuilding your life. If you need guidance, or are simply looking at what options are available for your case, please contact us. We’ve helped many car crash victims get the help they need to move forward, and we can help you and your family, too.